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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

If you’re a fan of Art Nouveau and haven’t caught it so far, I can highly recommend the BBC4 series Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau. I watched episode 2 last night and really enjoyed it. It charted the history of British Art Nouveau from Aubrey Beardsley with his Japanese influenced, racy ink drawings, through the Arts & Crafts movement, Mary Watts, Liberties and William Morris, to the Glasgow School and how Margaret MacDonald, and her more famous husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh, went on to influence Klimt when they exhibited in Vienna. The presenter is really down to earth and engaging and some of the work he shows is really breathtaking. I want a Margaret MacDonald print for my living room now and Mary Watts’ chapel in Surrey has to be seen to be believed!

There’s a previous episode on iPlayer about the start of the movement in Paris, and next week’s explores Klimt further – I shall be looking out for the museums I visited in Vienna a few years ago.

I can also highly recommend visiting Blackwell, the Arts and Craft House if you are ever in the English Lake District.

(Sorry for my absence recently, I’ve been a tad busy – there’s a Making Monday post to come which will probably give you a good idea of why but my partner seems to have taken my camera to uni with him by mistake so it may not appear before tomorrow)

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Not having a class at the moment doesn’t stop me being inspired by things I see out and about. I was in Ireland last week and visited the Neolithic burial mounds of Newgrange and Knowth, which have some really impressive stone carvings. It’s amazing to think how old they are!

Neolithic stone carving at Newgrange

Neolithic stone carving at Newgrange

I also saw this lovely art noveau style cross in a graveyard local to where I was staying – definitely a design I’d like to recreate, maybe on a vase.
Cross

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I spend a happy few hours at Potfest Scotland on Saturday. This is the 3rd year I’ve been to the event and it was interesting to see what has changed and what hasn’t. There was a very noticeable increase in the number of people with jewellery on their stalls (I guess because of the economy), which certainly gave me some new ideas. I treated myself to a pack of modelling tools and a ‘podpot’ by John Rivers of Riddings Pottery in Derbyshire.

'Podpots' by John Rivers © 2000-2009 Riddings Pottery

'Podpots' by John Rivers © 2000-2009 Riddings Pottery

This year’s purchase is similar to the design shown bottom right, but pea green in colour. I bought it to match an orange-red glazed one I bought last year, which is like the pot shown bottom left. I love how the shape of these makes you want to cup them in your hands; good pottery should always make you want to touch it in my opinion! (Click on the picture to visit his website).

Another potter whose work I have bought at Potfest in the past is Steph Jamieson. I love her smoke fired sculptural pieces; they are so tactile and have an almost bone-like quality to them.

Top of the list of things I would have bought if I’d had the funds, is a Raku pot by Pat Armstrong. She had some really fabulous ‘copper fumed’ pots which looked like they were decorated with nebulas and fiery suns, like something from Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Leaf wall plaque by Joan Hardie, image © Jack Hardie 2006–2009.

Leaf wall plaque by Joan Hardie, image © Jack Hardie 2006–2009.

I also loved the leaf wall plaques by Joan Hardie of the Bitter Beck Pottery in Cumbria. There was a really lovely one, similar to this picture (click on the thumbnail to visit her gallery), all matt autumnal colours, that would have looked a treat in my living room if it wasn’t way out of my price range!

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